"Bingyi: The Eyes of Chaos," curated by Britta Erickson, PhD '97

EYES OF CHAOS: DHARMA 混沌之眼:达摩, 2022, Ink on paper 纸本水墨, 362.5 x 573.5 cm

Curated by Britta Erickson (Art History PhD '97), Bingyi's current solo exhibition at INKStudio, Beijing, "Bingyi: The Eyes of Chaos," is the work of a remarkable polymath: with a doctoral degree in Art History and Archaeology from Yale, focusing on the art of China two millennia ago, plus an active career as an architectural designer and curator, and a role as social activist, for "The Eyes of Chaos" Bingyi has produced two bodies of works: "The Eyes of Chaos: Temple of the Matriarch of Painting"—the organic development of Bingyi’s land-and-environment art practice into historical landscape painting--and "Dream within a Dream within a Dream"—a speculative, archaeological reconstruction of the life of Hua, the “Matriarch of Painting.” Bingyi's painting practice combines superlative traditional brush-and-ink painting with a method of painting she has developed, working with the natural flow of ink and water across and into the paper. 

The line between the concrete and imaginary worlds becomes blurred as Bingyi, the archaeologist, conducted research trips in 2020-2023 to the Taihang Mountains, the historical and spiritual birthplace of the Chinese landscape painting tradition, including the monumental landscape tradition that she reflects in a series of over-sized ink landscapes. In the depths of the Taihangs, she seemingly discovered the Temple of the Matriarch of Painting and, through it, another magical and unknown civilization parallel to the Northern Song Dynasty. Bingyi brings together genuine temple architectural plans with extensive texts she has written, and her paintings, to provide a rich reflection of, and addition to, the great Chinese landscape painting tradition. She has also just published a major work on landscape, or "shanshui," painting.